Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Oklahoma and on...

After our week in Phoenix we took another short flight over to see our friends Zak, Jessica & Adley, and catch up with some of our friends at Bridgeway... we had great fun with them honing our Wii bowling skills, our basketball skills, and I learned a couple of American Football plays!

We went away for the weekend with their (and now our) friends Dagen, Michelle, & Crew to Dagen's parents house which was amazing - they had a cinema room which was actually like a cinema except they had 16 leather reclining laziboys in 4 tiers!!! Awesome!

Laura reading to Adley & Gracie
Gracie playing at Woolaroc - the home of all things Indian
Gracie feeding the buffalo bin!
Michelle, Dagen & Crew
A Sunday afternoon swim at the Absaloms... not sure what is more alarming - the hand on Zacs leg, the hairy chest, or just how white Alex is!!!
Can you spot it?
Our friends Zac & Jessica

People actually drink (especially women) 44oz cokes... I'm pleased to say mine was a fake!
Gracie and her new friend Kiera - daughter of Tim & Leanne
Gracie entertaining herself at Denver airport
Gracie waiting expectantly...
Our final slice of New Zealand... the flight back to London

Thursday, 22 May 2008


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Saturday, 17 May 2008

The Grand Canyon

One of the "Must Do" days out from Phoenix is the Grand Canyon, so we borrowed Gareth & Lizzy's car for the day and took the 3 hour drive north to see what all the fuss was about... It's absolutely unbelievably huge! Quite honestly I don't think either of us thought it would be this big, but it really was - driving along it took us most of the day as we stopped off for photo taking, walks and of course food. Definitely one of the most stunning things in the world.

OK, so a few facts for you...
  • The Grand Canyon is 18 miles wide.
  • At average the Canyon is 5,000 ft deep.
  • The Grand Canyon is 227 miles long.
  • The Canyon takes up 1,218,376 acres of land.
  • A trip to the bottom of canyon on foot or camel is a 2-day trip.
  • At the deepest part of the canyon it is 6,000 vertical feet.
  • The Grand Canyon is NOT the biggest canyon in the world... I'm guessing there must be somewhere out there called the Grander Canyon?
A little video evidence of us at the Grand Canyon...

Gracie and Laura admiring me admiring the view!
The Grand Canyon...
And more...
And more...
Family shot - just to prove we were all there!
Gracie eating a well deserved Ice Cream having been carted all day around what is essentially a massive hole in the ground... there wasn't even a playground!
And a nice Italian on the way home (and I use the term 'nice' very liberally)

Onwards to Phoenix ...

Having spent a couple of days in LA we took a comparatively tiny internal flight (1 hour) to spend a week with Gareth, Lizzy, Daisy, Lucy, & Toby. They live in Anthem, Phoenix which is hot... VERY hot - one day it reached 108, which was surprisingly very nice!!!

Anthem is a little bit like the Truman show - everything is perfectly groomed, clean and nothing looks out of place (apart from us!). We had fun driving around the community in the borrowed golf buggy - it had be seen to be believed!

The took us to Sedona which was absolutely stunning - we had a great lunch out in a wonderful sandwich shop, followed by swimming in a very beautiful (but cold) creek. I played golf with Gareth and Mike B, and shot a very convincing 76 at a very posh country club! Laura and Lizzy had lovely massages in return!

The children playing in the golf buggy!
Gracie talking on the mobile phone!
Me driving about town in the buggy!
Gracie in her hideous $1 Walmart sunnies!
Lunch out in Sedona

A big rock/mountain type thing in Sedona
Cruising with Gareth in his open top Mustang, before the roof broke!
A stunning view across Sedona
Gracie having a nano-nap!
The sun going down on a fantastic day

Thursday, 15 May 2008

LA Baby yeah!

First stop on our 3 week journey home was LA, where we stayed with Andy & Helen Hughes... We had a great fun time with them, and our first stop was Six Flags Magic Mountain, which was absolutely amazing - I'm definitely an adrenalin junky! Thanks guys for a brilliant couple of days.
Friends Reunited!
Arrival into Six Flags... Amazing!
Gracie loved the children's rides.... Honestly!
Gracie & Tweetie Pie
& Porky Pig!
Standing on Santa Monica Pier
...Some people stand in the darkness!
Gracie having a paddle in the sea
Gracie & Andy having a paddle!

Monday, 12 May 2008

Leaving New Zealand...

Well this post is long overdue, but here it is! We left New Zealand on Monday 12th May after spending 3 wonderful years working at St Paul's church in Auckland. We packed up the house ready for the shippers on the Friday, and then spent our final fun weekend staying with Brent, Anna, & Noah...

It was very sad to leave New Zealand, but exciting to be moving on to a new journey in our life.

Standing in our almost empty house!
Rich, Paul & Brent
Laura & Anna
Saying goodbye to our vicar Mike
Gracie's last New Zealand 'Fluffy'
Gracie and Amélie take one last stroll at St Heliers
Gracie & Noah sit on the beach contemplating life...
And a final kiss...
Gracie settling in for a long flight to LA